Born of a pioneering spirit — and continuing a long history of innovation in the seafood industry.
Our history stretches back to 1981, when Jerry Knecht founded North Atlantic Inc. (NAI) in Portland, Maine. Jerry spent 30 years earning a reputation for innovation at NAI. He was one of the first fresh seafood suppliers to box fish at sea for the US market. He also pioneered the use of ozonated water in his dockside fish processing facility in Portland to enhance food safety and shelf life.
While working the New England waters, Jerry identified a critical need for the industry to work with researchers and became an important liaison between the two. Working with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), a neutral non-profit organization dedicated to the stewardship of the Gulf of Maine, Jerry was an early champion of ocean conservation and fishery sustainability efforts. He served on the Board of GMRI and remains an Honorary Director.
A visionary takes a risk
In 2006, Jerry’s pioneering spirit led him to take on the risk of a lifetime. Armed with a career’s worth of accumulated fish industry knowledge, as well as first-hand insight into leading edge fishery management practices, he moved to Bali, Indonesia with an idea.
It was a big idea: To establish a dependable supply of high-quality unique and commodity fish for his longtime US-based customers, while introducing a new business model that promotes enduring sustainability, ensures food safety, improves the livelihoods of Indonesian fishers and enhances economic opportunities throughout their communities.
PT Bali Seafood International is born
Jerry established PT Bali Seafood International (BSI) as a subsidiary of NAI in 2009 as the vehicle for implementing his vision.
Since then BSI has:
- Helped encourage BRC food safety standards to Indonesia
- Worked with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) to establish Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) for both small and large boat fishers
- Laid the groundwork for an aspirational fishery management initiative that has attracted critical seed round funding from the Aavishkaar Frontier Fund, a social impact investment fund with a focus on entrepreneurship-based development benefitting impoverished peoples in emerging economies.
Developed in concert with the Indonesian government, BSI’s initiative features a community managed fishery, the development of numerous new ice-making, cold storage and processing facilities strategically located near remote fishing villages, and a complete re-design of the artisanal fisheries supply chain.
Having successfully completed an initial traceability pilot on Sumbawa, we are excited to bring the model’s greater vision to reality with your support. And we will surely keep you apprised right here. Stay tuned.